For Japan

I remember when the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010 and a flurry of blogger activity followed, resulting in wonderful fundraising efforts like BlogAid cookbook and Cupcakes for Haiti (to name but two).  I was pretty new to blogging (and, in fact, the Toronto food scene) at that point and all I could do was stand back and admire those bloggers and foodies who banded together to raise funds to send to a devastated nation.

Last month, when Japan was rocked by the 9.0 earthquake, again, the food blogging community was fast to react. All across the world, bake sales and other fundraising efforts were organised and I was honoured to be asked to contribute to Peko Peko: A Charity Cookbook for Japan – the brainchild of three very talented food bloggers (Stacie – One Hungry Mama, Rachael – La Fuji Mama, and Marc – No Recipes).  Featuring contributions from around 50 food bloggers, it will be a wonderful collection of family-friendly Japanese and Japanese-inspired recipes published by Blurb. 100% of the profits will be donated to charity relief in Japan.  Peko Peko is a celebration of the Japanese people, their food and culture.

While the number one goal is to raise as much money as possible for the children of Japan, the creative impetus behind Peko Peko is the belief that food is a common language that brings people together. Our hope is to use food to spark meaningful connections between everyone involved — the organizers, contributors, sponsors and donors — to the people of Japan.

I am not super knowledgeable about Japanese food but Rachael convinced me that I should contribute, given that one of the premises of my Petits Chefs cooking club is to introduce little palates to a variety of cuisines at a young age to broaden their  tastes.  When I cook with the boys, I try to make the food as fun to make and as pretty to look at as possible and my mind immediately wandered to tamagoyaki – Japanese rolled egg pancake.  I first came across a version of this in a Celia Brooks-Brown cookbook many years ago, not realising that it is a staple in bento boxes and played around a bit with a fresh and dried mushroom and scallion filling incorporating classic Japanese flavours in the familiar taste of eggs.  It’s also a fun dish to make and looks cool, which, when you work with 9-12 year olds in the kitchen, scores you huge bonus points. Kids are more likely to try food that they have made and even more so when it’s pretty.  Want a sneak peek?

I obviously can’t share the recipe with you but encourage you to sign up for email updates so you can order it when it’s available. I can’t wait to get my own copy!

Closer to home, I am thrilled to be contributing some baked goods to Toronto Bakes for Japan.

Organised by the fabulous Heena of Tiffin Tales, the concept is simple:

What: A simple concept – a bake sale to raise money for Japan.

When & Where:

Saturday, April 9, 2011, 9 am to 1 pm

  • Farmers’ Market at Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto

Sunday, April 10, 2011, 11 am to 3 pm

  • Liberty Noodle, 171 East Liberty St, Toronto
  • The Rivoli, 334 Queen St W, Toronto
  • Cafe Diplomatico, 594 College Street, Toronto
  • Amaranto Café,  809 St. Clair Ave W, Toronto 

Sunday, April 10, 2011, 10 am to 5 pm

Who: Kind and committed people from across Toronto coming together and using their talents for a great cause.

To Whom: 100% of all proceeds from this initiative will be donated directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Wishing I could do more but as that is just not possible right now, I will be contributing some very “Mardi” treats to sell. Hint:

I’ve been practising. And I think I finally have a recipe that works. Knock on wood this will be my third batch in a row sans tears, finger crossing and “good luck” glasses of wine.  I promise to post the method if when they work again.

My macarons will be at the Liberty Noodle location. If you’re around, I’d love for you to go and buy some!

* Did you enter my FRESH BERRY GIVEAWAY yet? You have until Sunday April 10th at 6pm EST to enter.  Details here.

** Don’t forget to check out next month’s “Forever Nigella” event – I’m hosting a street party in honour of the Royal Wedding and would love for you to join me. All the details here.

18 thoughts on “For Japan”

  1. I wish I could be down in Toronto this weekend! I would love to contribute some money and get a taste of some of your new macrons.
    I also need to look into grabbing me one of those Peko Peko Cookbooks 🙂

  2. Peko Peko is a wonderful initiative to help the people of Japan and the book will be as beautiful as the cause.

    Your sneak peek is certainly a delicious looking *teaser*.

    Best wishes for a very successful bake sale in Toronto this weekend. Your macarons are going to go quickly!

  3. Love your contribution to the cookbook Mardi! I’m sure your macarons will give the bake sale a huge boost! 🙂

  4. Mardi — I’m so excited for your contribution to Peko Peko. It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous book thanks to you and all of the other amazing contributors who’ve been so generous with your time. Thank you! xo


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